The reason for this post is last Wednesday was PI day. This was because it was March 14th, and, put into numerical form 3/14 (or 3.14). This is a fabulous day to celebrate the mathematical number Pi.
A brief history, Pi is a greek word for the letter/symbol that we use to stand for the constant 3.14... (the dots are because this number is non-repeating and non-terminating, meaning it never ends!!). This fancy number shows the ratio (or relationship) between a circle's circumference (measurement around the outside) and its diameter (measurement straight across the circle). Generally, we use it in math when we're measuring, or for my grade 10's throughout lovely Unit 1!!
Now, in elementary school we are generally not allowed to use our calculators much, so will use Pi as exactly 3.14. However, in highschool we are then introduced to the calculator button Pi. The reason we use this is because it is MUCH more accurate, and because how many people WANT to remember the first 10 digits of Pi? Not I!!
I do have a side story though. I always remember, during elementary and high-school, my dad reciting out at least the first 15 digits of Pi because he HAD to learn it in highschool (or university, I can't remember). Consequently, because it was repeated so many times, the most I can remember is 3.1415926 although I much prefer to just press the Pi button on my calculator. So, you ask in amazement, he had to MEMORIZE the number?? Yes, this was much before the days where calculators had fancy Pi buttons...... Perhaps it was before the invention of the calculator? (I'm only teasing, as I'm sure that he just might read this!)
In case this amusing anecdote inspires you to read more, a quick search brings this wikipedia article on Pi and its history. It is a bit wordy, but skimming you will get the gist of it!
As I thought more about Pi, I remembered this video clip I had seen a few years ago. We had been on the topic of people on the Autistic Spectrum (including Aspbergers), and how so often these children are Brilliant at certain skills or subjects. Someone then forwarded me this video. Amazing!!